Welcome to Helsingin Luistelijat Skating School!
The Skating School will begin on September and continue until Spring. Skaters will have 15 sessions in both Fall and Spring season, making a total of 30 sessions during the whole skating year. A Christmas break will be held between the Fall and Spring seasons.
Skaters come to the Skating School once a week, and they are placed in a group that suits best their age and skating skills level. The aim of the beginners' groups is to learn basic skating skills in a playful atmosphere and to learn how to behave in a group. In the more advanced groups, skaters will learn basic figure skating skills. All Skating Schools offer the different levels, so you can choose the time and place that suit you the best. We will take care of finding the most suitable group for your child.
The Skating School teachers follow the skaters' progress and make changes in the groups. As the skaters' skills develop, they may also change groups during the year. It is also possible to attend two different Skating School sessions a week.
COACHES AND CONTACT PERSONS
The Head coach of Skating school is Ms. Anu Tuunanen.
The Skating School teachers have been trained by Helsingin Luistelijat. Our aim is that the groups have the same teacher throughout the entire skating year. In case of an absence, the teacher will give instructions regarding the group for a substitute teacher.
During the Skating School sessions, a contact person is always present at the ice rink. She/he is there to answer your questions and to give up-to-date information. Each time skaters come to the Skating School, they should sign in at the contact person's desk, situated near the entrance.
At the beginning of the season, skaters receive a Skating School passport in which they collect stamps and feedback from the teacher. You will get the stamp from the contact person at the ice rink before each session. The contact person will also tell you when the passport will be held back for the teacher's greetings.
Each skater also receives a name tag, which should always be attached to the skater's clothes at the ice rink.
Each Skating School group has its own color. Both the skaters and the teacher keep a colored ribbon of their own groups' color attached to the left skate boot. The ribbon is to be attached on top of the instep, in the lacing. If you use skate covers, the ribbon must be attached to the same area (at the middle seam), so that it can be well seen.
From the colors, the skaters and teachers will recognize their own group. In addition to this, having the colored ribbon in the left foot will help teaching some moves especially in the youngest groups.
In return for the Skating School fee that has been paid, skaters will receive the club's membership card, which will entitle you to discounts in some shops.
BEHAVIOR AT THE ICE RINK
We wish you to come to the ice rink in a positive mood and without fuss, preferably at least 15 minutes before the beginning of the session. The contact person will tell the skaters the locker room number; this instruction must be followed even though some other locker room might appear more attractive because of its emptiness. Because of the large number of skaters attending the Skating Schools, locker rooms may get crowded at times, this is why we ask you to take good care of your belongings. The club is not responsible for goods disappeared or damaged during the sessions. The most effective way to enjoy the teaching is to be on time on the ice when the session starts. It is nevertheless forbidden to go on the ice before the teachers. Coming on the ice on foot is also not allowed. Having chewing-gum on ice is dangerous for the skaters and therefore strictly forbidden.
Parents are welcome to follow the Skating Schools, the best way of doing this is in the stands or in the cafeteria. At those ice rinks that do not have stands or a cafeteria, we kindly ask you to follow the sessions from a small distance. It is not allowed to follow the sessions leaning onto the borders, as it disturbs the activities on the ice. To ensure good learning conditions, it is very important that skaters can focus entirely on their groups' activities and on the teacher's instructions.
Helsingin Luistelijat offers a group insurance for all skaters under 15 years old in the Skating School. This insurance is valid in skating schools organized by member clubs of the Finnish Figure Skating Association, and in the additional activities attached to them. The insurance is also valid on instant outward and return journeys to and from these events. Because of the insurance, we ask you to fill out carefully all the asked informations when enrolling on the Skating School.
Unfortunately a Skating School session may sometimes have to be canceled because of competitions, tournaments or damages at the ice rink. We try to inform about these cancellations as soon as possible by e-mail, via the contact persons at the ice rinks and also at the Helsingin Luistelijat Skating School web page, under the link “ajankohtaista” (news).
If a session has to be canceled, a replacing session will be offered at some other ice rinks Helsingin Luistelijat Skating School. In this case, the contact person will give you a voucher that you should present to the other ice rinks contact person. If none of the offered replacing session suits the skater, there will be no other refund for the canceled session.
The Skating School enrollment is done separately for each ice rink. If a skater misses a session, it is not possible to replace the session in another Helsingin Luistelijat Skating School at another ice rink. In case of illnesses of more than two weeks, skaters can get some refund in their Skating School fee. A medical certificate must be shown to receive this refund.
The Skating School brochure is available in Finnish, English and Russian. Other publicity and teaching will be given in Finnish.
The Skating School information is given by e-mail and by the contact persons at the rinks. Should there be a change in your e-mail address after your enrollment, please contact the Helsingin Luistelijat office (luistelukoulut(at)hl.fi).
The skaters' most important equipment is good skates. A proper skate is made of quality leather and it has a built-in arch for support of the foot.
The tongue of the skate is padded and the skate has a 2-3 cm heel. The leg must not be too high. A good skate boot doesn't necessarily feel comfortable at first; it has to be”run in”. The blade of a figure skate is swing-like; it has a furrow in the middle and a toe pick at the front.
Inside the skate, use a light and well-fitting sock (not wool socks). This way you'll be able to lace the boot properly. Always use clean socks, as they are the warmest.
LACING THE BOOT
Start lacing from the lowest part of the boot. You can leave some space for the toes to move, but at the instep and ankle area the laces must be done firmly to give enough support to the ankle. The leg is tight enough if your index finger fits in between the leg and the foot at the back of the boot.
To keep the lacing from loosing, make a knot before the first set of hooks. End the lacing with a tight knot at the top. You can hide the knot inside the boot next to the tongue, to avoid the laces hanging loose. Laces that are too long should be shortened to fit the boot.
The boot must give support to the ankle and ankles must remain straight inside the boots. Skating becomes difficult and hurtful on the feet, if ankles cannot be held straight (see picture 2). A good skate boot can be recognized by holding the skate horizontally (picture 3): the leg should remain stiff and not bend downwards loosely.
The blades are extremely sensitive and can be easily damaged, so we advise you to always use blade guards when walking with the skates outside the ice.
After returning to the locker room after the session, remove the guards immediately and dry the blades carefully with an absorbing tissue or chamois.
Keep the skates preferably in two separate tissue-made bags, and without the guards. Even good blades get rusty if the guards are left on. Prefer guards made of plastic and make sure to clean them from eventual sand and other improperties.
At home, we recommend that you take the skates out of their bag and leave them to air, so that they dry also on the inside. The skates shouldn't nevertheless be aired next to a radiator, as the leather easily becomes brittle.
Skates that have been well taken care of maintain their value at the resale market.
SHARPENING THE BLADES
The sharpening of figure skates is completely different from that of hockey skates. You mustn't damage the blades with an unsuitable sharpening technique. The following stores are experts in figure skate sharpening:
Malmin raitti 17, 00700 Helsinki (Malmi)
Minna Canthin katu 18, 00250 Helsinki (Töölö)
Taitoluistinhuolto Tommi Piiroinen
Raappavuorentie 10, 01600 Vantaa (Myyrmäen jäähalli)
Pallokuja 6, 00980 Helsinki (Vuosaaren jäähalli)
Kavallinmäki 15, 02710 Espoo (Viherlaakso)
Urheilupuistontie 3, 02120 Espoo (Metro Areenan harjoitushalli)
Talttakuja 6, 00700 Helsinki (Malmin jäähalli)
SM - Skate Marketing
Sarkkakuja 2, 04300 Tuusula
Warm and stretchy clothes are most suitable on the ice, as they offer an ease of movement. Quilted jackets and overalls are most often too thick and stiff, and it's difficult to move in them.
A warm turtleneck along with a wool shirt or a cardigan can be used on the ice. Pants made of an elastic material, leggings and jumpsuits are suitable. The legs of the pants must not be too wide. If you wish, you can also use a skating dress with tights/leggings and a fleece jacket/cardigan.
It is good to wear a warm knitted cap to cover the head, and gloves. The gloves must be clean (no sand etc. should be brought onto the ice). It is also recommended that the youngest skaters use a helmet at first.
SKATING ACCESSORIES STORES
Malmin raitti 17, 00700 Helsinki (Malmi)
Minna Canthin katu 22, 00250 Helsinki (Töölö)
SM - Skate Marketing
Sarkkakuja 2, 04300 Tuusula
The stores also sell used skates. By showing the Helsingin Luistelijat membership card, you can get a discount at some of the stores when buying new skates.
MOVING UP FROM THE SKATING SCHOOL
From the skating school, it can be possible to move up to training groups, and further into competitive groups, in individual figure skating or in synchronized team skating.
Skaters can be chosen through try-outs or by individual invitation to the first training groups at the individual figure skating section (Minitähdet-group, Group 6 or amateurs), the synchronized skating section (beginners team Sunflowers) or the ice dance section (beginners group Minidance). These groups prepare skaters to a competitive level and they offer 2-3 trainings a week.
The different groups in individual figure skating (from youngest to oldest): Minitähdet, R6, R5, R4, R3, R2 and R1. The groups have skaters on both National and Finnish Championship level.
The synchronized skating teams (from youngest to oldest): Miniflowers (first synchro group), Sunflowers (beginners), Sunlights (juvenile), Starlights (novice), Musketeers (junior) and Marigold IceUnity (senior). The club also has several National level teams.
If the skater isn't interested in competing or her/his skills do not reach the competitive level, it is also possible to move from skating school up to one of the amateurs group, which offer training twice a week.
Helsingin Luistelijat also offers skating for adults: a skating school for grown-ups, figure skating group for adults and the adult synchronized skating teams Creme de Ments and Ice Elegance.
All skating school skaters can take part in two performances during the skating year. In December, there is a Christmas celebration for the entire club, and in spring the Helsingin Luistelijat Ice Show. During the Skating School sessions, there are also smaller events such as a costume party, bring-a-friend session and a Spring carneval, from which you will get more information closer to the events.
Teuvo Pakkalantie 12 A-B
telephone: 050 562 9111 (Anu)
Have a nice skating season with Helsingin Luistelijat skating club!
Head coach of skating school